Poverty fell and median household income grew last year in Illinois, according to new figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. While experts were encouraged by the improvement, they cautioned that things are far from rosy in the Prairie State.
U.S. workers have seen their share of corporate income for compensation drop from 82 percent to 75 percent since 2000, shows a recent analysis by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).
A 7-point decrease "might not seem like a lot, but if labor's share had not fallen this much, employees in the corporate sector would have $535 billion more in their paychecks today," EPI's research and policy director Josh Bivens said in a paper on the findings.
That money would work out to be a $3,770 raise for each U.S. worker if all working Americans, not just those employed in the corporate sector, got a slice of the pie.
Forbes 400 members, including just two African Americans and five Latinos, are wealthier than the entire bottom 61 percent of the U.S. population, representing 194 million people or 70 million households.
America's 20 wealthiest individuals alone (17 men and three women, all of whom are white) currently "own more wealth than the bottom half of the American population combined, a total of 152 million people in 57 million households," according to the report.
The wealth divide is even more striking when compared along racial lines.
A recent report from the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) reveals that Wall Street employees received $28.5 billion in combined bonuses last year.
That works out to be double the collective annual earnings of the more than one million full-time U.S. workers who made the federal minimum wage in 2014. At the national level, the hourly minimum wage is $7.25.
The $28.5 billion in bonuses was spread out among 167,800 Wall Street bank employees, according to the Washington, D.C.-based think tank.
"The size of the [2014 Wall Street] bonus pool was 27 percent higher than in 2009, the last time Congress increased the minimum wage," reads the report, "Off the Deep End: The Wall Street Bonus Pool and Low-Wage Workers."
The top 1 percent in Illinois took home nearly all of the state's income gains in the first few years of the U.S. economy's recovery from the Great Recession.
That's one of the findings of a new study on income inequality published by the Economic Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank based in Washington, D.C. The report was co-authored by Estelle Sommeiller, a socioeconomist at the Institute for Research in Economic and Social Sciences in France, and Mark Price, an economist at the Keystone Research Center in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Overall, the study showed that the wealthiest 1 percent of taxpayers in 39 states, including Illinois, captured at least half of all the post-recession income gains in their respective states between 2009 to 2012. Over this time period, 17 states saw their top 1 percent of earners gain 100 percent of the income growth, according to the researchers, who examined state-level tax data from the Internal Revenue Service.
Average incomes grew faster from 2009 to 2012 for those in the top 1 percent than the bottom 99 percent in every state but West Virginia, the report reads. And in 2012, the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans earned almost 30 times the income of those in the bottom 99 percent.
Low-income Illinoisans have the third-highest state and local tax burden in the nation, according to a new study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) and the Fiscal Policy Center at Voices for Illinois Children.
The study, which examined the distribution of all major state and local taxes by income group in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, showed that the poorest Illinois residents currently pay almost three times more in taxes as a percent of their income compared to the richest Illinoisans.
Illinois' effective tax rates by income group are 13.2 percent for those in the bottom 20 percent of the income scale, 10.8 percent for the middle 20 percent and 4.6 percent for the top 1 percent, according to the study.